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(Photo by malcolm garret from Pexels)

Nowadays everybody has a phone. Those days where you’d only get a phone when you’re in high school or college are over because things have changed a lot.

Although tech has been a blessing in many ways, it has its downsides. Everyone who has access to devices like phones and TVs, including your kids, is at risk of screen addiction.

If you notice your child is exhibiting some signs of screen addiction like antisocial tendencies or aggressiveness when you take their devices away, you need to do something about it as soon as possible.

Here are some useful tips on how you can go about it. 

1. Talk to them

Your child may not have any idea what addiction is in the first place so you’ll need to educate them on what it means in a way they’ll understand. Once they know what it means, let them know that you are worried about them and what needs to be done. Talking it through could help you negotiate with them and reduce screen time.

2. Set boundaries

Being a little stricter with them will limit the time they spend on these devices. Don’t allow them to have screen time before they do their homework, chores, while they’re at the dinner table or before bed. If you don’t put your foot down once and for all, you’ll be encouraging more screen addiction. But when you set boundaries and stick to them, they’ll have no option but to respect your authority as a parent.

3. Encourage more family time

More uninterrupted family time means less screen time. You have to start working on creating fun and interactive family activities for everyone to take part in. In fact, you might have all been caught up with these devices that you barely spend time together as a family. If everyone is constantly distracted most of the time, there is no way your child will be encouraged to change. So schedule family game nights, prepare meals together and just plan something you’ll all enjoy without phone distractions.

Do other fun, family activities other than looking at screens (Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Turn off their Wi-Fi at certain times

This is one of the best ways especially when handling a stubborn child. This technique will ensure they respect the rules. Schedule time when the internet is off so that they’re not busy scrolling on social media anymore. Internet is one of the biggest drivers of phone addiction so this is one of the ways you can nip that bud.

6. Keep the charging devices

This is another way you can curb the temptation for your kids to use their devices all the time. It will force them to use them wisely when they know they can’t just re-charge at any time. Keep the chargers in your room or in an area where they can’t access that easily. 

7. Use screen time control apps 

You can also use some parental monitoring applications to help with the process. There are screen time limiting apps which can link their device to yours and some you can directly download on their devices. You’ll be able to monitor their screen time, block notifications past a certain time and monitor their usage.

All these methods work but If the addiction is severe, you might need to consider counselling.

Kenya
Although tech has been a blessing in many ways, it has its downsides, screen addiction being one of them


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